Major League Baseball Doesn’t Hate the Apple Watch After All

A big swing and a bigger miss from MLB.

This is Kansas City Royals Manager Ned Yost.

Yost has always been known as a man of the people. He was a catcher for the New York Mets, Milwaukee Brewers and Texas Rangers in the late ’70s and through the ’80s. Once his playing days were over, he went right into coaching where his career hit its pinnacle last year as he led the Royals to the World Series.

For his exploits, he was given a snazzy Apple Watch to replace his busted Timex (and we’ll get to that later).

This week, Yost was spanked by Major League Baseball for wearing such a technological gadget. Why? Smartphones are banned in the dugout because they give managers, coaches, and players an unfair advantage. While that is understandable, Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star still did some digging.

The problem is that Yost doesn’t carry his phone during games, which–as he said–makes that mini-computer on his wrist the equivalent of a Seiko. So, MLB “banned” the watch and gift. And then, the league changed its mind.

The MLB staffers managing on-field operations did call Yost to make sure he wasn’t using the data on his watch, which was, ironically, given to Yost by the MLB a month ago as a gift for his participation in the All-Star Game, an MLB spokesman said. But it was just a routine call.

“It’s not banned,” he said.

Crisis averted, but where’s the PR issue? It’s that gift.

Yost got the watch from… wait for it… Major League Baseball! It was a gift at this year’s All-Star game.

Wonder if league officials would like some salt with that crow?